This will show you how to manually update a VM in VMware Player to the latest hardware version.

Upgrading VM's to the latest version of Workstation is easy to do in VMware Workstation because there is a UI button that simplifies this task.

If you're using VMware Player only, you've probably noticed that you cannot upgrade a VM because there is no button for this anywhere.

The good news is that we can upgrade the VM maunally by editing the machine's VMX file.

In this example, we'll upgrade from version 8 to 9.
The used VM is a Win8 that uses version 8 of Workstation's hardware:

Click image for larger version

We will upgrade the virtual machine to the (now) latest version which is 9.
To do this, open the desired VMX in your Notepad, Notepad++ or any other text editor:
Close the VM and close Player.
Modify the highlighted text just like in the picture and set it to 9:
Click image for larger version

in code:
config.version = "8"
virtualHW.version = "9"
You may have an 8 here or even 7 or 6 if the machine is older.

The config is set to 8. Leave it this way or the VM won't start with a 9 here.

After the 'one number change' we are ready:
Start Player and see:
Click image for larger version

The upgrade provides newer hardware and improvements. After starting the VM, the operating system installed there will detect new drivers and a re-installation of the VM Tools may be required.

That's it.